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ATTRA - National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service

Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - March 9, 2011

Weekly sustainable agriculture news and resources gleaned from the Internet by NCAT staff for the ATTRA - National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service website. The Weekly Harvest Newsletter is also available online.

News & Resources

  • Grazing Study Shows Improved Soil Quality, Sequestered Carbon
  • Wendell Berry Awarded National Humanities Medal
  • Sustainable Agricultural Land Tenure Project Creates New Resources for Farmland Owners
  • State Offices Fertile Ground for CSAs
  • Solutions from the Land Launched
  • "Nantucket Grown" Brand Introduced

Funding Opportunities

  • Southern SARE Research and Education Grant
  • Environmental Education Regional Grants
  • ASG Midwest School Garden Grant

Coming Events

  • Homefront to Heartland: Empowering Women in Agriculture and Small Business
  • Healthy Soils, Healthy Livestock: Grazing Workshop
  • Small Farmer's Journal Horsedrawn Equipment Auction and Swap Meet

News & Resources

Grazing Study Shows Improved Soil Quality, Sequestered Carbon
Researchers with the USDA's Agricultural Research Service (ARS) found that if cattle are managed so that they graze moderately, soil quality can be restored and emissions of carbon dioxide can be reduced. The research involved a project in which grasses were planted on rolling, eroded land in northeastern Georgia and pastures were grazed by beef cattle. The grazed land produced more grass than ungrazed land and had the greatest amount of carbon and nitrogen sequestered in soil.
Related ATTRA publication: Converting Cropland to Perennial Grassland

Wendell Berry Awarded National Humanities Medal
Author Wendell Berry received the National Humanities Medal from President Barack Obama this week, reports the Louisville Courier-Journal. "The author of more than 40 books, Mr. Berry has spent his career exploring our relationship with the land and community," said the citation that was read aloud during the White House East Room ceremony.

Sustainable Agricultural Land Tenure Project Creates New Resources for Farmland Owners
A two-year study of sustainable agriculture and land tenure in Iowa by Drake University's Agricultural Law Center and the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture at Iowa State University has analyzed legal questions relating to Iowa farmland ownership and the transfer of land to a new generation of owners. Resources compiled from the Sustainable Agricultural Land Stewardship (SALT) project are available at SustainableFarmLease.org.

State Offices Fertile Ground for CSAs
A Washington state-sponsored pilot project last year shows how popular Community Supported Agriculture, or CSAs, are becoming. Washington Wellness, a unit in the state Health Care Authority, has created an easy-to-use online manual on how employers can organize deliveries to their workplace, Guide to CSA Delivery at State Worksites.

Solutions from the Land Launched
Sustainable solutions to the challenges of food and energy security, economic development, biodiversity conservation and climate change are the goals of a coalition of resource organizations that was formally announced in February. The Solutions from the Land (SFL) initiative will examine how land, water and other natural resources can be managed in an integrated manner at the scale necessary to meet these challenges, both here in the United States and across the globe.

"Nantucket Grown" Brand Introduced
Sustainable Nantucket has announced the launch of a new Nantucket GrownTM brand aimed at promoting and encouraging the consumption of locally grown food on Nantucket. Nantucket GrownTM, modeled on existing "Buy Fresh, Buy Local" brands developed in other Massachusetts communities, will provide farmers with an instantly recognizable branding campaign that will indicate to consumers that the food they are purchasing was grown, processed, and distributed on Nantucket.

>> More Breaking News

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Funding Opportunities

Southern SARE Research and Education Grant
The Southern Region USDA Program on Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) is requesting pre-proposals for systems research and education activities that address issues of sustainable agriculture of current and potential importance to the region and nation.
Pre-proposals are due June 1, 2011.

Environmental Education Regional Grants
The first of two RFPs for the 2011 Environmental Education Grants Program is now open. The purpose of the grant program is to increase public awareness and knowledge about environmental issues and provide the skills that participants in its funded projects need to make informed environmental decisions and take responsible actions toward the environment. Total estimated funding for this competitive opportunity is approximately $1,943,000 nationwide (approximately $194,300 per EPA Region).
Applications must be submitted by May 2, 2011.

ASG Midwest School Garden Grant
The Grandchildren of Helene and Mark Eisner will sponsor 11 schools in Midwestern states through the National Gardening Association's Adopt a School Garden program in 2011. Winners will receive $1,000 in materials and funding to lay the foundation for their garden program. Both established and start-up garden programs are encouraged to apply.
Applications must be postmarked April 1, 2011.

>> More Funding Opportunities

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Coming Events

Homefront to Heartland: Empowering Women in Agriculture and Small Business
April 29, 2011
Nashville, Tennessee

This conference, produced and coordinated by the University of Tennessee Extension, will educate and empower women to return to their business, community, and family with new confidence, ideas and techniques to help them better manage finances, communication, marketing, time, and stress.

Healthy Soils, Healthy Livestock: Grazing Workshop
April 8-9, 2011
Poteau, Oklahoma

Ranchers can learn how to improve the health of both their soil and their cattle, using tools like management intensive grazing, at a workshop at the Kerr Center for Sustainable Agriculture. Featured speaker Ray Archuleta will share his perspective on soil health and pasture assessment. Sessions will be divided between an indoor classroom setting, and pastures on the Kerr Ranch for hands-on experience.

Small Farmer's Journal Horsedrawn Equipment Auction and Swap Meet
April 13-16, 2011
Madras, Oregon

This four-day regional event includes not only the auction itself, but also field trials for new and restored implements, a market horse fair, instructional clinics, and a diverse swap meet.

>> More Events

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Digital versions of recent and archived Weekly Harvest and ATTRAnews newsletters are available online. ATTRAnews is the newsletter of ATTRA - National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service.

National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) logo and link to home page The National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service - ATTRA - was developed and is managed by the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT). The project is funded through a cooperative agreement with the United States Department of Agriculture's Rural Business-Cooperative Service.

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© 2011 NCAT

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New & Updated Publications
Micro-Hydro Power: Is It Right for My Farm?

Micro-Hydro Power: A Beginners Guide to Design and Installation

An Illustrated Guide to Growing Safe Produce on Your Farm

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